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Full text of "NightRider"

CHAPTER XV

MOST of the time during the day, if the weather was good,
he stayed away from the house. That was safest, he thought,
and besides, he didn't want to get the Proudfits into any
trouble if he could help it. On the hill to one side of the
Proudfit house was the place he usually stayed. The lime-
stone humped out of the soil there, not jaggedly, but in grey,
somnolent-looking masses rounded by weather and furred
with lichen. Cedars grew there, with roots that grappled
under the limestone and in the crevices. The crevices were
filled with rotted leaves and cedar needles and earth, black
with humus, which had sifted down. In the winter the
moisture collected in those crevices and the cold made icy
wedges to thrust, little by little, year after year, toward the
heart of the stone. At the foot of the bluff, in the bed of the
creek by the Proudfit house, the round boulders stood here
and there above the surface of the water.

High up, on the bluff side of the hill, a spring poured out
of an archway of stone. In its basin there, the perfectly clear
water eddied ceaselessly, braiding and swelling, swaying the
young fronds of fern and the grass which trailed lushly down
to the surface, spilling over the lip of stone and plunging
down the slope to join the creek below. " Soon's I laid eyes
on hit," Willie Proudfit had said to Mr. Munn, "come-en
sliden down that rock that-aways, I says, thar my house will
set. Sometimes a-nights I lays in bed and I kin hear hit. I
lays in bed and I kin recollect the times out in the dry country
I laid out somewheres a-nights and studied on water. In this
country the Lord's done give a man water whichever way he
turns, fer drinken and washen, hit looks lak, and a man don't
know how hit is in the dry country, and the thirsten. I been
two days without water and my tongue swole in my mouth.
I shot me a buffalo, figgeren on the blood, and I seen they

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